Thailand meet Tajikistan in a do-or-die U23 battle
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Thailand meet Tajikistan in a do-or-die U23 battle

Buriram's Supachai Chaided, centre, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against Ratchaburi.
Buriram's Supachai Chaided, centre, is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against Ratchaburi.

Thailand U23 head coach Issara Sritaro is committed to steering Thailand back to their strengths when they take on Tajikistan in their decisive AFC U23 Asian Cup Group C tie Monday night.

Following their 5-0 defeat to Saudi Arabia on Friday, Thailand find themselves tied on three points with Iraq, who bounced back into knockout stage contention after beating Tajikistan 4-2.

This mean that Thailand -- if they want to advance to the quarter-finals for just second time in history, they must win all three points on Monday at the Al Janoub Stadium.

Issara said on Sunday: "We know our game and we know where things went wrong in the last match. We will rethink our defence and find the best choice. We need to focus on ourselves, stay strong and stay together.

"It is all about recovering well and being super ready for the next one.

"We know this last game is very important. It is the one that decides if our Olympic dream continues."

Tajikistan, meanwhile, have shown they are not to be underestimated.

Mubin Ergashev, Tajikistan coach will count on his key players especially Rustam Soirov who has scored twice so far -- with Tajikistan still having a chance of advancing.

The match between Thailand and Tajikistan will kick off at 10.30pm (Thai time) and will be shown live on True Sport 2 (667).

Buriram triumph

Defending champions Buriram United scored a convincing 4-1 victory at Ratchaburi in a Thai League 1 clash on Saturday night.

Buriram were put on course by Guilherme Bissoli in the fifth minute of the match before Thailand striker Supachai Chaided doubled the advantage 11 minutes later.

Ratchaburi narrowed the margin five minutes into the second half through Tyronne del Pino, but Goran Causic converted a 62nd-minute penalty to make it 3-1 and Supachai grabbed his second goal of the match after 85 minutes.

Buriram coach Jorginho praised his men and said: "I am trying to build their confidence and asking them focus more on attack. It's working."

Also on Saturday night, hosts BG Pathum United were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling Chonburi, Police Tero edged Uthai Thani 1-0 at their home ground and Trat claimed a point from their trip to Khon Kaen after the two sides played out a 1-1 draw.

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